Song of the Day #3,967: ‘When the Stars Go Blue’ – Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams isn’t too popular these days, after a New York Times investigation earlier this year exposed him as an overbearing #metoo villain who promised music industry success to women as a way to get them into his bed.

He is reportedly the subject of an FBI investigation and his current tour, as well as three planned albums, have been postponed indefinitely.

Why do so many men suck so bad? And why does it have to be the talented ones? You don’t see Nickelback dragged down by harassment allegations.

At any rate, his ickiness aside, Ryan Adams’ Gold is definitely one of the best of 2001. Its first half, especially, is fantastic. ‘New York, New York,’ ‘Firecracker,’ ‘Answering Bell,’ ‘La Cienega Just Smiled,’ ‘The Rescue Blues,’ ‘Somehow, Someday’ and ‘When the Stars Go Blue’ — you’d be hard-pressed to find a better opening run on any album.

The back half of the album loses some focus, and at 16 songs it’s maybe two or three too long, but Gold is a masterful piece of work. Even if it was created by a creep.

[Verse 1]
Dancing where the stars go blue
Dancing where the evening fell
Dancing in your wooden shoes
In a wedding gown

[Verse 2]
Dancing out on 7th street
Dancing through the underground
Dancing little marionette
Are you happy now?

[Chorus]
Where do you go when you’re lonely
Where do you go when you’re blue
Where do you go when you’re lonely
I’ll follow you
When the stars go blue
Stars go blue
Stars go blue
Stars go blue

[Verse 3]
Laughing with your pretty mouth
Laughing with your broken eyes
Laughing with your lover’s tongue
In a lullaby

[Chorus]
Where do you go when you’re lonely
Where do you go when you’re blue
Where do you go when you’re lonely
I’ll follow you
When the stars go blue
Stars go blue
Stars go blue
Stars go blue

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,967: ‘When the Stars Go Blue’ – Ryan Adams

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I don’t know enough about the accusations against Adams, or the veracity of those allegations, to judge or condemn him. I do know that many men have been caught up in the net of this #metoo movement, found guilty without a trial and effectively given the death penalty of career-ending banishment regardless of the severity or credibility of the allegations.

    And behavior that was fairly commonplace and considered the norm ten, twenty or thirty years ago is now seen as abhorrent. As but one example, I heard Jimmy Kimmel on Howard Stern’s show the other day talking about his involvement with bringing back “All in the Family”and “The Jeffersons” to TV, and how cringe-worthy so many things in shows back then were when viewed through today’s lens. The way Archie treated Edith for example. They also talked about “I Love Lucy” where Ricky would literally put Lucy over his knee and spank her, with the next scene being Lucy talking to Ethel while rubbing her sore butt-all played for laughs on a show universally adored by men and women alike.

    So, if Adams did do whatever he was accused of doing over twenty years ago, does that make him “creepy” in 2019? Does it make him irredeemable? Devoid of any other good qualities as a human being? Undeserving of forgiveness and a second chance? Is he anywhere near the level of conduct engaged in by Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson or Harvey Weinstein?

    I say let the man release his albums and tour—and the public will determine through their wallets whether he can sustain and continue with his career.

    • Amy says:

      I fully agree with Dana’s last paragraph when the allegations are “creepy” rather than criminal. What you left out of your post is the fact that America’s beloved Mandy Moore, who we have become accustomed to see treated as a valued and beloved wife on “This is Us” is one of his most public accusers. As his ex-wife, she also has a lot of gravitas. I know that was the part of the Times’ piece that got me. Of course, I don’t listen to Adams all that much, so it wasn’t personal for me.

      When we saw Aziz Ansari in concert earlier this month, I was thrilled at the warm reception he got and pleased at how he addressed the “scandal” the me-too movement swept him up in.

      So… yes, it’s complicated times, but we do need to evolve with them. If we watched that episode of Lucy today, I doubt any of us would laugh. Now the conveyer belt scene would still elicit howls. Some comedy deserves to be left in the dust bin.

    • Clay says:

      Adams’ alleged transgressions were more recent than that (over the past decade) and include, as Amy points out, input from his ex-wife, Mandy Moore. They also include sexting with a young girl who was 14-16 at the time. So definitely problematic and possibly criminal.

      But I still dig the music, at least the old stuff. I think the world is too complicated to make my entertainment decisions based on what’s happening behind the scenes.

      And I’m glad we’re in a culture that wouldn’t laugh at Lucy being spanked, even if it has gotten a bit too reactionary in other ways. I heard a review of the new Vampire Weekend album today that said if their first album had come out in the age of Woke Twitter, they would have been crucified for being white preppies playing African sounds and naming a song ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa.’

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